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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

......And with the scorching heat dropping away, 350 species are logged

Derbyshire's first GREAT REED WARBLER photographed by Daz Chapman

RED-RUMPED SWALLOW on South Ronaldsay, Orkney, this afternoon - a great find by Paul Higson and some excellent images by Morris Rendall

We are now in to Week 21 of 2010 and before the end of May, the combined total number of species recorded in Britain and Ireland has climbed to a very impressive 350 species. This week's additions include WILSON'S PHALAROPE, Icterine Warbler, WESTERN BONELLI'S WARBLER, White-winged Black Tern and Red-breasted Flycatcher.

The beautiful female WILSON'S PHALAROPE remains for a fourth day at Seaforth NR (Merseyside), visible occasionally through the metal fence bordering Crosby Marine Park, whilst the two adult summer-plumaged WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERNS continue to commute for a third day between Lagoon III and the new Lagoon IV at Rutland Water Egleton NR (Leics). Meanwhile, the exceptionally confiding SQUACCO HERON that had spent three days at Snowland Fishery at Par (Cornwall) was not seen today.

On the Ythan Estuary (Aberdeenshire), both the BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER and PECTORAL SANDPIPER remain (viewable from the Waulkmill Hide), and the drake KING EIDER further towards the river mouth with up to 600 Common Eider opposite Inches Road.

In Derbyshire, the county's first-ever GREAT REED WARBLER continues to perform in the small section of Phragmites at the western corner of the first pit north of the railway at Straw's Bridge NR, Ilkeston, situated north of the A609, whilst an exceptional find was of a female BLUETHROAT on the small reserve at Leasowe Lighthouse (Wirral), showing well every now and again in ditches near the wooden footbridge by the duck pond.

A first-summer male COMMON ROSEFINCH was trapped and ringed at Landguard Bird Observatory (Suffolk) early this morning, with an ICTERINE WARBLER the same at Spurn Warren (East Yorks), whilst passage GOLDEN ORIOLES today included at least 3 on Scilly. A further young male COMMON ROSEFINCH was singing on Ramsey Island (Pembs) whilst a EUROPEAN SERIN was reported from trees along Evington Lane at the entrance of the Leicester Golf Club, Evington (Leics). A male RED-BACKED SHRIKE was discovered in coastal scrub north of the Blackhall Rocks car park (County Durham)

In addition to the breeding pair in East Kent, PURPLE HERONS are also being seen at Stodmarsh and Grove Ferry Reserves (Kent) and at Minsmere RSPB (Suffolk) whilst the first putative Marsh Warbler of the spring was singing from dense vegetation at Thorpeness disused carvan site (Suffolk).

On the Outer Hebrides, an adult BLACK STORK bearing a white plastic ring was seen again this morning, this time soaring in the Lochboisdale area at the south end of South Uist, whilst Paul Higson discovered a RED-RUMPED SWALLOW late afternoon flying around the Doctor's Surgery at St Margaret's Hope on South Ronaldsay (Orkney).

The recent easterly winds saw a remarkable South Coast passage of Red Kites, involving up to 25 birds in Cornwall, and migrating with them were several BLACK KITES, including one well-photographed in West Cornwall and seen again today in the St Just/Carn Brea area and another today circling Sarisbury Green (Hants) for a while before drifting off north, presumably relocated in West Sussex as it drifted over Birdham towards Chichester. A RED-FOOTED FALCON was present briefly in Winterton North Dunes (Norfolk) before flying off NE early morning.

With the wind veering back Northwesterly, skua passage has resumed in the Outer Hebrides, with small numbers of Long-tailed and Pomarine passing, whilst WOOD SANDPIPER passage remains in full swing. TEMMINCK'S STINTS are plentiful, with 3 on the small pool between the Long Nanny and Bednell Bays (Northumberland), 3-4 on Pat's Pool, Cley NWT (North Norfolk), 2 on the pool north of the B9113 at Balgavies Loch SWT (Angus/Dundee), 2 at Port Clarence (Cleveland), 2 at Fiskerton Fen (Lincs) and further singles at Caerlaverock WWT Folly Pond (Dumfries & Galloway), Astley Lake, Swillington Ings YWT (West Yorks), Willen Lake North Basin (North Bucks) and at Diddington Pit, Paxton Pits NR (Cambs).

A female LONG-TAILED DUCK is summering at Pennington Marshes (Hampshire), roosting largely on the islands of the Fishtail Lagoon, whilst at the extreme NW end of Britain, Loch Braigh on Lewis (just NE of Stornoway) plays host to at least 122 summering individuals.

All 3 singing male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS are still present, with those at Walderslade (North Kent) and Wentwood Forest (Gwent) and that at the end of a 3-mile hike at Potteric Carr YWT (South Yorks).